And I Fear

I’ve got a lot on my mind today.

I’m excited. I’m visiting my sister in a few weeks. She lives in a different country. I’ll be flying solo and spending Christmas there. I’m excited, and scared, and nervous, and oh, so excited! I can’t contain my excitement, can you tell?

But I really need it, this vacation I’ll be taking. I need to get out of this place for a while, forget about med school and real life even if it’s just for a week. However, I’m pretty nervous as to how it’s going to affect me depression-wise. I haven’t been all too well these past few weeks, and I fear leaving home might trigger the worst. It’s been only a week since I last had suicidal thoughts. I fear being away, even if it’s just for a little while, might trigger these thoughts again.

I’ve also been having trouble with cutting, though like I’ve said before I’ve been doing it very superficially. But it’s still cutting, it’s still an inappropriate coping mechanism. My psychiatrist has told me a few times already I should consider other options, like writing about what I’m feeling at the moment. I’m having trouble getting caught up in the moment and not considering the alternatives. What I mean is, whenever I’m having really intense emotions I instantly look for something to cut with, instead of thinking of the alternatives first. It’s all part of not living on autopilot. It’s difficult stuff, but I’ll keep working on it.

Changing the subject, today I had appointment with my psychiatrist, who I’ll be calling “M” from now on. We talked a lot about my serious abandonment issues. I have trouble letting go of the fear that M will abandon me. I live in constant fear that this will happen. My irrational brain is truly convinced she will let me down and abandon me at some point. I told her about this during the appointment, though maybe not as explicit as I should have been.

I also told her about how I’ve been very numb and devoid of any feelings lately. I told her I thought I might have gotten used to the pain and am not feeling it anymore. M said we never get used to pain. And she’s right. She made me realize I am indeed feeling pain, but I’ve been suppressing it just so I can survive med school and life. She made me think hard, and as it turns out, I realized my pain is abandonment. I ache constantly due to the fear of abandonment. It hurts, living like this, but I know no other reality. My whole life I’ve been fearful of being abandoned and taken for granted, or worse, considered useless and pathetic. And the way I express this constant fear is by cutting. Whenever I’m feeling a surge of intense emotions due to fear of abandonment, I cut. Whenever I think about M, or my sister, or anyone else I trust abandoning me, I cut.

So, finally, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of being alone and forgotten by those I care about. I’m afraid of relapsing in a foreign country during Christmas vacation. I’m afraid of losing the relationships I’ve built thanks to therapy. I’m afraid of losing my career to mental illness. I’m afraid of failing and of feeling pain.

I’m afraid.

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